So, as you guys probably read, I left the barn last Thursday questioning whether my horse and I were ever going to get past this brick wall that is seemingly right in front of us. What happened Thursday was really, not all that bad, Jingle just would not slow down... at all.. we ended up trotting around for about 35-45 minutes because I just wanted him to blow off some steam. Then after that, I asked him to lope and he pinned his ears... I've never, ever seen my horse pin his ears in his life. So, of course, I instantly go into panic mode about saddle-fit issues, back pain etc. (I am planning to get a massage/chiro/perhaps osteo - post for a later date, out to check him, but I think his back is fine - i'm still worried about his jaw) However, I don't think it is related to any of that, I just think he's starting to get arena sour... I really don't want, or need, an arena sour horse. Especially when my goals in life are to become a better arena rider. So, once the words "arena sour" popped into my mind I just became really sad, and then by the time Jingle was banging his head into the wall (literally, and figuratively), while working on our side-passing, I just quit. Enough of this.
I always try to quit on a good note, but, heck - no good notes were happening with my horse and I that night, we were just way too out of sync, and I could tell he was just as exasperated with me, as I was him. Great feeling, huh?
So, I headed out to the barn on Saturday thinking I needed to change things up, and perhaps ride outside. It's interesting that I went from NEVER riding inside, ever, to now almost being... worried... to riding outside? So strange! I don't know any of the trails around our barn though, and I was a little uneasy about riding up the road because the snow is so packed down and icey... especially because Jingle still has front shoes on.
When I first got to the barn, Tristan, got Jingle and I a present!! He had gone to the states and found crackers called "Jingos" - Jingle's registered name is Bar J Jingos Doc!
My horse was not cooperating with hamming it up with Tristan, but here they are - they even come in spicy flavours to match my boys personality! I think Jingle has to be their spokes-horse, how perfect! THIS is how Jingle will make me money - be the poster ponyboy of a cracker company!!
Then fate intervened, and two ladies, who predominately trail ride, asked Brigitte to go on a trail ride, and I tagged along! Perfect timing ladies! So we headed out to the wild blue yonder for a really nice two hour trail ride. Of course Brigitte and I talked each-other's heads off the whole time...
Brigitte & Mac!
We're pretty experienced at the whole talking whilst trail riding thing, after all these years - we have it down to an art. The ride was actually really nice and pretty, I shouldn't act so surprised, but I've been spoiled by some pretty amazing places to trail ride. There were some decent areas that we even got a trot and a lope in, and Jingle did wicked. I guess when I moved Jingle to the barn, and with the ranch shutting down, I kind of saw my real trail riding days as over. A lot of people see hacking down the road, or what-not, a "trail ride", to me, exploring, rivers, foothills, moss cliffs, getting lost and being nowhere near civilization, 4-6 hour rides.. that's a trail ride. However, these ladies informed us that in the summer, they can head all the way into mountain country, and spend all day on what sounds like, some pretty good trails! So, that's exciting!
Me & my boy.
I did keep Jingle's boots on for the ride - he does bash his legs pretty decently due to his toed in front left, and with the sharp ice, sticks, etc. I didn't want to risk it. The snow wasn't too deep so the boots didn't soak through and get wet on his legs, which was good. All my ranch friends will laugh at this - my horse is so spoiled and pampered, haha, I know.
Another shot of the two of us in front of the local elementary/jr. high.
I was really pleased with Jingle, and happy about the whole ride. He danced a bit in the back, but was listening to me, and I was able to ride him in a loose rein in the front, and back of the pack. He happily loped and trotted, and didn't spook or anything like that. Jingle was my trail horse for a year in 2011, but I barely rode him out on the trail at all this year for various reasons. Plus, he's never been exactly your dead broke-calm trail horse anyways.
I think it was the perfect thing for us to do, he just seemed a lot more calmed out by the whole experience. The ladies even commented how well behaved our horses were... what, you thought they wouldn't be? ;)
During the ride, one of the ladies did comment, "Oh, look at those braids - a little indian pony!", and I took it as a little condescending haha. Her horse had a pulled mane. What can ya do? You win some, you lose some, and Jingle and I like our nice long braids!
So, all in all, really successful ride, and I was happy that I was able to read my horse correctly, and figure out a solution for his problem. I'm going to try to get a couple more of these rides in before the weather gets too nasty. But even when it starts to really get into winter I suppose I could even go for little hacks down the road or in the back fields.
&, just because she reads the blog....
Later that night a bunch of us from the ranch went down to Ranchmans, we had a ton of fun...